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This most recent offseason was perhaps Cloud9’s most turbulent since the breakup of the original 5 players that dominated the LCS in 2013-2014. Their LCS rosters have historically changed rather gradually from split to split, only exchanging 1 or 2 players at a time. But this offseason wasn’t like any other.
This time around, Cloud9 swapped out 3 players. Among them were MVP jungler Svenskeren, franchise ADC Sneaky, and promising young support Zeyzal. Swapping out more than half of the roster was a bold move that left fans & analysts alike scratching their heads, wondering what prompted the sudden change. Cloud9 has consistently performed well domestically and internationally, which translated well to fantasy points. So, let’s see how this new lineup can live up to those standards.
Blaber – Promoted from C9 Academy
Zven – Former TSM
Vulcan – Former Dignitas
Fantasy Player/Team Projections
Top Lane: Licorice
One of the two remaining players from last split, Eric “Licorice has been a valuable asset for Cloud9. Averaging 21.1 fantasy points per game last year, Licorice sat comfortably in the top 5 of all LCS/LEC top laners (min 5 GP). This shows how Licorice was capable of scoring major points consistently no matter what situation he was placed in. Looking forward to 2020, Licorice’s ability to work with his new bot lane raises some possible concerns. If they end up becoming the focus of the team’s resources instead of him, we could see Licorice become more of a role player, and his points diminish as a result. Otherwise, Licorice’s status as an elite top laner will likely hold true.
After multiple splits on Cloud9’s academy roster, Blaber will replace Svenskeren in the jungle. Blaber is well known for having an explosive and unpredictable playstyle that translates incredibly well to points scored per game. In the few LCS games Blaber played in 2019, he averaged 23.3 fantasy points per game. This is the second highest out of all LCS/LEC junglers, and 2.4 fantasy points more than Svenskeren. If Cloud9 continues to cater to his playstyle, expect Blaber to be one of the hottest players this season. Be careful though, his playstyle is susceptible to having bad games when the team falls behind. So, I would advise to only pick him on weeks were Cloud9 is sure to get a win.
Mid Lane: Nisqy
Nisqy is the second of the two remaining players from last split. In 2019, he was in the top 5 of average fantasy points scored per game among LCS and LEC mid laners (min 5 GP). He’s less likely than Blaber to pop off and have insane individual performances, but his Top 5 placing in Kills/game in 2019 shows that he can be consistent. Nisqy will be an especially strong mid laner on weeks were Cloud9 has a winning matchup, elevating him to the top tier of mids with Nemesis and Caps.
Bot Lane: Zven
Fresh off his 2 year stint with TSM, Zven has come to replace Cloud9’s long standing bot laner, Sneaky. In 2019, Zven and Sneaky were close in average fantasy points scored per game with only .5 points separating them. They also were both in the top 10 overall, with Zven at 8th and Sneaky at 7th. Zven has long been heralded for his clean mechanics and carry potential, while Sneaky was often more of a role player. Zven has historically been the focus of his team’s resources compared to Sneaky, shown by Zven’s 78% kill participation in ‘19 compared to Sneaky’s 62.7%. This higher kill participation illustrates just how often TSM would play around Zven’s half of the map. If this trend continues, we could see Zven easily surpass Sneaky’s stats. However, it may take a few weeks before C9 can truly cater to Zven as they’ll likely stick to allocating resources towards the known quantities in Licorice and Blaber. So look for Zven to work his way within the top tier of ADC’s as the season progresses.
Rounding out Cloud9’s bottom lane for the upcoming split is none other than Vulcan. Previously of Clutch Gaming, Vulcan did not perform too well when it came to average fantasy points scored per game. With an average of 10.5 points per game, Vulcan ranked 15th out of all LCS/LEC supports in 2019 (min 5 GP). However, this can be attributed to his team’s general lack of success for most of the year. When on a losing team as a Support, it’s incredibly difficult to make an impact points-wise. In contrast, Zeyzal was one of the top supports in fantasy points per game during 2019 due to the amount of assists he was able to generate from all of his teammate’s kills. So, we expect Vulcan to rise in priority compared to last year, but he more than likely still won’t break into that upper echelon of supports like Mikyx and CoreJJ.
🛡️ Team: Cloud9
When it comes to a Team putting up fantasy points, the most important thing to determine is whether they will win or not. And even through all the roster changes, we still expect Cloud9 to win lots of games. In the 2019 Summer Split, Cloud9 finished with a 13-6 record, trailing only Team Liquid, and averaged 19.1 PPG, ranking 5th overall and 3rd in the LCS. Cloud9 was second only to G2 in wins under 30 minutes, giving them some extra bonus points. But where they were able to set themselves apart was in the early game, ranking Top 3 in both Rift Herald/game and First Blood %. Cloud9 may be unpredictable as a team, but we all still expect them to finish Top 3 for Team scoring and in record.